15 Best Cheap Alcohol for College Students

As college students, balancing a limited budget with the desire to unwind and have a good time can often be challenging. For many, indulging in affordable alcoholic beverages has become a popular way to relax and socialize while staying within financial boundaries. 

In this article, we have compiled a list of the 15 best cheap alcohol options specifically tailored to meet the needs of college students in 2024.

From light beers to flavored malt beverages and spirits, these budget-friendly choices offer a range of flavors and versatility for various tastes and preferences. 

Whether hosting a small gathering, celebrating an achievement, or simply looking for a casual drink, these affordable options can help you enjoy your college experience without breaking the bank.

However, it is crucial to remember that responsible drinking is paramount. Always adhere to legal drinking age requirements and be mindful of your limits. 

Join us as we explore these 15 wallet-friendly alcohol options, each with unique characteristics and potential for memorable evenings.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Cheap Alcohol

When selecting cheap alcohol for college students, several factors should be considered to ensure a satisfactory experience. Here are four key considerations to keep in mind:

Price range and budget-friendly options

One of the primary factors for college students is the affordability of alcohol. Consider your budget and look for options that fall within your price range. Watch for discounts, promotions, or bulk deals that can further stretch your budget.

Alcohol content and potency

The alcohol content of a beverage determines its potency and the effects it may have. Different drinks have varying alcohol percentages, so it’s essential to consider how strong you want your drink to be. Be aware of your tolerance and choose beverages with alcohol levels that align with your preferences and limits.

Availability and accessibility

Consider the availability and accessibility of the alcohol options you’re interested in. Check local liquor stores, supermarkets, or online platforms to ensure your desired drinks are readily accessible. Opting for widely available brands can increase the likelihood of finding them at an affordable price.

Taste and quality

While price is a significant factor, it’s also important to consider the taste and quality of the alcohol you choose. Look for options that offer a pleasant flavor profile and satisfactory quality, ensuring an enjoyable drinking experience. Explore different flavors and varieties to find the ones that suit your palate.

Considering these factors, you can make informed decisions when selecting cheap alcohol for college. Remember to drink responsibly and be mindful of your limits to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 

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Importance of Affordable Alcohol Options for College Students

Affordable alcohol options play a significant role in the lives of college students for several reasons:

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Financial constraints

College students often have limited financial resources and must adhere to a tight budget. Affordable alcohol options allow them to socialize and enjoy drinks without putting excessive strain on their finances. It provides an opportunity to unwind and have fun while staying within their means.

Socializing and bonding

Alcohol is commonly associated with social gatherings and events among college students. Affordable alcohol options enable students to participate in social activities and connect with their peers. It fosters a sense of camaraderie and can enhance the overall college experience.

Budget-conscious decision-making

By choosing affordable alcohol options, college students can make responsible and informed decisions about their spending habits. It encourages them to consider their financial limitations and prioritize their expenses effectively.

Learning to manage finances

College is when many students learn to manage their finances independently. Affordable alcohol options allow one to practice financial responsibility and develop budgeting skills. It encourages students to make conscious choices about their expenses while still enjoying social activities.

Safe alternatives

Having affordable alcohol options specifically catered to college students helps reduce the likelihood of students resorting to dangerous alternatives or engaging in risky behaviors due to financial constraints. It promotes a safer environment by providing accessible and affordable choices.

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Best Cheap Alcohol for College Students in 2024

Below are the 15 best cheap alcohol for College Students:

1. Natty Light (Natural Light)

2. PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon)

3. Keystone Light

4. Smirnoff Ice

5. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

6. Burnett’s Vodka

7. Evan Williams Bourbon

8. Bacardi Superior Rum

9. Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila

10. Franzia Boxed Wine

11. Andre Champagne

12. Four Loko

13. Malibu Coconut Rum

14. Seagram’s Gin

15. Black Box Wines

1. Natty Light (Natural Light)

Natty Light is a popular brand of light beer known for its affordability. It is light-bodied and has a mild flavor, making it a common choice for college students. It is sold for $16.40 in stores.

2. PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon)

PBR is another inexpensive beer option popular among college students and young adults. It is a lager with a relatively mild taste. It is sold between $1.19 to $9.97 in stores.

3. Keystone Light

Keystone Light is a light beer often favored for its low price. It is a crisp and refreshing option with a light-bodied profile. It is sold between $4.99 to $25.69 in stores.

4. Smirnoff Ice

Smirnoff Ice is a flavored malt beverage with a sweeter taste than beer. It comes in various flavors and is carbonated, providing a fizzy and fruity experience. It is sold between $0.86 to $37.92 in stores.

5. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

Fireball is a cinnamon-flavored whisky that has gained a strong following among young drinkers. IIt offers a spicy and sweet taste and is often enjoyed as a shot or mixed in cocktails. Stores sell it between $2.99 to $227.87.

6. Burnett’s Vodka

Burnett’s, a brand of vodka, is known for its affordability. It comes in various flavors and people often use it as a base for mixed drinks and cocktails. Stores sell Burnett’s between $1.99 to $168.12.

7. Evan Williams Bourbon

Evan Williams is a bourbon whiskey brand that offers an affordable option for whiskey enthusiasts. It has a smooth and rich flavor profile, making it suitable for sipping or mixing. Stores sell it between $9.95 to $251.88.

8. Bacardi Superior Rum

Bacardi Superior is a light and clear rum commonly used in tropical cocktails and mixed drinks.It has a mild flavor and people often prefer it for its versatility. Stores sell it between $15.99 to $227.88.

9. Jose Cuervo Especial Tequila

Jose Cuervo Especial is a popular tequila brand that offers an affordable option for tequila lovers. It is a gold or silver tequila, depending on the variety, commonly used in tequila-based cocktails like margaritas. Stores sell it between $35.72 to $38.14.

10. Franzia Boxed Wine

Franzia, a well-known boxed wine brand, offers an inexpensive way for people to enjoy wine in larger quantities. It comes in various varieties and people often favor it for its convenience and value. Stores sell Franzia between $9.99 to $143.87.

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11. Andre Champagne

Andre is a budget-friendly sparkling wine brand, often called “champagne.” While it may not have the same prestige as higher-end champagnes, it offers a bubbly and celebratory experience at an affordable price point. It is sold between $3.99 to $93.00 in stores.

12. Four Loko

Four Loko is a flavored malt beverage that gained popularity among college students due to its high alcohol content and energy drink-like qualities. It comes in various flavors and people often consume it as a pre-mixed cocktail in a can. Stores sell it between $3.79 to $12.99.

13. Malibu Coconut Rum

Malibu, a flavored rum, is known for its coconut-infused variety. It offers a sweet and tropical taste, and people often use it in cocktails like piña coladas or mix it with fruit juices. Stores sell Malibu between $11.73 to $24.99.

14. Seagram’s Gin

Seagram’s is a popular brand of gin that provides an affordable option for gin enthusiasts. It has a smooth and crisp flavor, commonly used in classic gin-based cocktails like gin and tonic or martinis. It is sold between $2.99 to $21.99 in stores.

15. Black Box Wines

Black Box Wines is a boxed wine brand offering a wide selection of varietals. It provides an economical option for wine drinkers, and the boxed packaging helps keep the wine fresh for longer. It is sold between $3.98 to $20.99 in stores.

Why Do College Students Take Alcohol?

There are various reasons why college students may choose to consume alcohol. Some common reasons include:

Social pressure and peer influence

College campuses often have a prevalent drinking culture, and students may feel pressured to fit in or participate in social activities that involve alcohol.

Stress relief and relaxation

College life can be demanding, with academic pressures, new responsibilities, and personal challenges. Some college students turn to alcohol as a means of relaxation or to temporarily escape from the stressors they face.

Celebration and socializing

Alcohol is often associated with celebrations, parties, and social gatherings. College students may consume alcohol for social events or to enhance their social experiences.

Curiosity and experimentation

College is a time of exploration and self-discovery. For some students, alcohol consumption may be driven by curiosity or a desire to try new experiences.

Coping with emotions or self-medication

Some students may use alcohol to cope with negative emotions, such as sadness, loneliness, or anxiety. They may use alcohol as a self-medication to temporarily alleviate these feelings.

Perceived positive effects

Some college students may believe that alcohol enhances their social confidence, reduces inhibitions, or improves their enjoyment of social situations.

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Tips for Responsible Drinking on a Budget

When indulging in cheap alcohol as a college student, it’s crucial to prioritize responsible drinking to maintain your well-being and safety. Here are four essential tips to help you enjoy your drinks responsibly while staying within your budget:

Importance of moderation

Moderation is key when consuming alcohol. Set limits for yourself and pace your drinking throughout the evening. Be mindful of the effects of alcohol on your body and know your personal tolerance levels. Drinking in moderation promotes better decision-making and helps prevent excessive spending on alcohol.

Alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

To minimize the potential negative effects of alcohol and stay hydrated, consider alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

Have a glass of water or a non-alcoholic drink in between alcoholic beverages. Not only does this help control your alcohol intake, but it also ensures that you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration.

Avoiding binge drinking

Binge drinking, consuming large quantities of alcohol quickly, is dangerous and should be avoided. It can lead to serious health risks and impair judgment, increasing the likelihood of accidents or risky behavior. Instead, focus on enjoying your drinks in moderation and savoring the experience rather than aiming for excessive intoxication.

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By following these tips for responsible drinking on a budget, you can make the most of your college social experiences while keeping your well-being in check. 

Remember, responsible drinking enhances the enjoyment and safety of any occasion.

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Consequences of Excess Alcohol Drinking to College Students

Excess alcohol consumption among college students can have immediate and long-term consequences. While some students may consume alcohol responsibly, others may engage in excessive or risky drinking behaviors, leading to negative outcomes. Here are some potential consequences of excessive alcohol drinking among college students:

Academic Performance

Excessive alcohol consumption can significantly impact academic performance. Regular or binge drinking may lead to missed classes, poor concentration, impaired memory, reduced cognitive abilities, and lower grades.

Health Risks

Alcohol abuse can pose serious health risks. Excessive drinking can lead to liver damage, cardiovascular problems, weakened immune system, increased risk of certain cancers, and nutritional deficiencies. In addition, alcohol poisoning is a potential risk, especially when consuming large quantities quickly.

Risky Behavior

Alcohol impairs judgment and inhibitions, increasing the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. College students who drink excessively may be more prone to unsafe sexual practices, substance abuse, drunk driving, physical altercations, and involvement in accidents or injuries.

Mental Health Issues

Alcohol can exacerbate existing mental health conditions or contribute to the development of new ones. College students may experience increased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders due to alcohol abuse. Alcohol is also a depressant, which can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness, or emotional instability.

Personal Relationships

Alcohol abuse can strain relationships with friends, roommates, romantic partners, and family members. Drinking-related conflicts, arguments, and erratic behavior may damage personal connections and lead to social isolation.

Underage drinking is illegal in many countries, including the United States, where the legal drinking age is 21. College students who engage in underage drinking or violate other alcohol-related laws may face legal consequences such as fines, community service, probation, or criminal charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the legal drinking age for college students in 2024?

The legal drinking age can vary depending on the country or state. It is important to adhere to the laws and regulations of your specific location regarding the legal drinking age. In the United States, the legal drinking age is typically 21.

Are these cheap alcohol for college students options widely available in most areas?

While the mentioned cheap alcohol options are generally popular and widely available, the specific availability may vary depending on your location. It is recommended to check local liquor stores, supermarkets, or online platforms in your area to determine the availability of these options.

Are these cheap alcohol for college students options of good quality?

Cheap alcohol options often come at a lower price point. While they may not offer the same level of quality as more expensive alternatives, many still provide an enjoyable experience for college students. Managing your expectations and knowing that quality can vary among different brands and varieties is important.

Can these cheap alcohol options be used for cocktails or mixed drinks?

Many of the cheap alcohol options mentioned are commonly used as ingredients in cocktails and mixed drinks. Vodka, rum, gin, and flavored malt beverages like Smirnoff Ice or Four Loko can be utilized in various mixed drink recipes. Experimenting with different combinations can be an affordable and fun way to create your signature drinks.

How can I ensure responsible drinking while on a budget?

Responsible drinking involves setting limits, pacing yourself, and being mindful of alcohol consumption. It’s important to know your tolerance and drink in moderation. Alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, staying hydrated with water, and avoiding binge drinking are all important practices to ensure responsible drinking while on a budget.


Ultimately, the aim is to enjoy alcohol responsibly while staying within your means. Whether celebrating achievements, socializing with friends, or simply unwinding, making informed choices allows you to create memorable moments while prioritizing your overall well-being.

So, as you venture into the world of affordable alcohol options, remember to drink responsibly, make informed decisions, and savor the experience responsibly. Cheers to enjoyable and responsible drinking in your college journey!



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